Sunday, January 15, 2017

Is alcohol really serving you?

Over 5 years ago I made the choice to give up alcohol for good. It was no longer serving me. I'd had a long journey to this decision, mind you. I'd taken as much as a year off from drinking here and there, and often times, even throughout my long bartending career, I'd go days, even weeks, without a drink. It wasn't something that called to me, beckoned me, taunted me. I wasn't addicted. So my disclaimer here is if you feel that alcohol is something that has a hold on you, seek professional help for that, because you deserve it, you'll need it, and it's out there for you.

But if you're one of those people who like me wondered why you bothered after you had a few - especially the next day when your body was angry - then I urge you to take a look at whether it serves you, your health, your vitality, your relationships, your mind.

Even if you're one of those people who drinks "just a glass" of wine per night because you like the taste of wine, or because it's what your friends do after work, or because you were told it was good for you, reconsider.

I'm not saying this from a soapbox. I'm saying this because our society has a social connection to alcohol that's worth looking at. And if it's no longer serving you, I urge you to have the courage to give it up. Even for a week, or specific days of the week, or better, a month or even as long as Lent (March 1 to April 13, 2017). Because anything we do out of habit or because someone else does it or because someone said it's good for you shouldn't be the reason you do it. And getting in touch with your inner knowing, your body, and your mind are more important that happy hour. Think about why you do go for that drink (or two) a day - is it stress? Can something else be changed in your life as well to help alleviate that need for the drink?

You know there are many things that happen to the body, mind and spirit when we drink. It has long term negative affects on the mind, the liver (and therefore the skin), even the heart (although we are told that a glass of wine helps the heart, a bowl of vineyard fruits would be better) and it oxidizes the body faster (potentially causing cancer).

But do you know what happens to the body when you quit drinking? You sleep more soundly, you eat less at meals, you crave better foods and less sugar, (and subsequently you lose weight), your skin clears up, your savings account increases, your relationships improve, and your connection to source energy sharpens.

So if any of those reasons appeal to you, try it. You might like it.

I know many of my friends have said that it would be too hard to go out and watch everyone else drink and not have one. But I find that just isn't so. I have tea, or a mocktail, and don't care if everyone else is having gin and juice or a microbrew - at the brewery I always order their root beer and several people always want to try it. So throw out those social excuses and tell your friends you're turning a new leaf. And true, a lot of those friends who at first gave me shit for not drinking are no longer in my weekly circles, I gradually found friends to do healthier things with like hiking and snowshoeing and afternoon tea.

It's not hard. If you want to make this one simple change this year, do. Your body, mind, and spirit will thank you. 

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